SPECTRA features innovative & award-winning poets from across the country with Quad Cities-based poets & writers at Rozz-Tox (2108 3rd Avenue Rock Island, IL), unless otherwise indicated.


QC National Poetry Month Mega-Reading Goes Virtual to Support Rozz-Tox on 4/9!


Quad City National Poetry Month Mega-Reading
Thursday, April 9, 2020 @ Facebook | Reading at 7:30pm 


But, due to the ongoing situation with COVID-19, this reading will be postponed…in person.

But we see no reason why we can’t fill some bandwidth with terrific poetry and poets & bring some light to each other.

So, we plan to have a virtual reading on Facebook starting at 7:30 p.m. You can record a video of yourself reading, live stream in, share a poem as a post–whatever you’re comfortable with. We still want as many people to participate as possible. If you have not signed up to read yet, this is a great time to do it—everyone could use a little light right now, and we can bring some to share here.

We can also do this to support the best home a reading series, or anyone else, could ask for: Rozz-Tox.

They are, like so many other places, closed for the time being while we all do our part to be #AloneTogether and have a fundraiser set up to support their staff (they are selling gift cards, too!). We’re hoping that we can use this space, and this virtual reading, to help amplify their efforts & do our part to give Rozz-Tox the same love & kindness they have shown our community since opening their doors nine years ago come April 1, 2020.

We are also welcoming tributes to the late, great Richard “Dick” Stahl—first Poet Laureate of the Quad Cities, author of several collections of poetry, and long-time teacher at Davenport Central. We have created a page on our website where we will be sharing poems, anecdotes, tributes, videos, etc. remembering one of the great poets of the Quad Cities. We’ll share some of those on April 9 too, and encourage contributors to do likewise should they have any tributes to share.

If you have signed up for the mega-reading already, we will be in touch soon to see how you’d like to proceed, start to put together a live stream schedule, etc. If you have not yet signed up, please contact us to let us know you’re interested, and how you’d like to participate (live stream, video posts, etc.). We’ll keep everyone posted on the details, but we will see you on Facebook on Thursday 4/9 at 7:30 p.m. In the meantime, please support Rozz-Tox and share the links below, and we’ll see you online April 9th!

Rozz-Tox Employee Fund:

Rozz-Tox Gift Cards:

National Poetry Month Information from The Academy of American Poets:

*And if you find yourself writing about &/or through these strange days, please check out “Across The Social Distances” curated by the terrific Becca Klaver (and check out her new collection, READY FOR THE WORLD, too):

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(updated original post)

The Midwest Writing Center, Rozz-Tox, and the SPECTRA Reading Series are celebrating National Poetry Month in a major way with an all-Quad Cities, all-poets-on-deck mega-reading extravaganza.

On Thursday, April 9, we’re hoping to host the largest (virtual) poetry reading the QC has ever seen, and we’re inviting for all the terrific poets in the community to participate.

We’re looking for as many different readers as we can handle (and then a few more) to bring as many different styles, forms, flavors, lights, etc. as possible. Throughout the night, we’ll also have mini-showcases featuring locally-based literary magazines, small presses, slam teams, school and/or writing groups, etc.

If you are interested in participating, reading, promoting, partnering, as either an individual poet or as a library/school/lit journal/publisher/writing group/arts organization/whatever, please see the updated FAQ information below and contact MWC.

***QC National Poetry Month Virtual Reading FAQ***

-When in the reading? Thursday, April 9 – We’ll be online on the Facebook event page. Readings start at 7:30 p.m.

-Where is the reading? Rozz-Tox (2108 3rd Ave. Rock Island, IL)

-How much does it cost to attend? The event is free and open to the public.

-Do I need to sign up in advance? Magazines, presses, etc. must sign-up in advance. We prefer individuals sign up as well, so we have an idea of how many readers to expect. Readers who have signed up can send files (text, audio, video, etc.) or we will work on a schedule for people to live stream. If you have already registered, we’ll be in touch soon.

-Will there be open mic spaces? There will be a limited number of open time slots peppered throughout the night, but preference will be given to individual poets, literary magazines, presses, etc. who register early. Open mic readers will be invited to post/stream on a first-come, first-read basis.

-How much time will I have to read? All readers will have 5 minutes each (1 poem, 10 poems? Doesn’t matter—so long as it’s 5 minutes or less). Even though this space might seem a bit infinite, people’s time is sadly not, and so with this many readers, we kindly ask everyone to respect the time limit so everyone can have equal time and we get to hear from as many people as possible. Thanks!

-I have a book/chapbook/etc.—can I sell them at the event? Yes. The event page will be a dedicated space (or spaces) at the event for authors to connect with the audience. All authors are responsible for their own transactions, change, etc. You can shout out your new release, publisher, etc. during your reading, and you can post information. After the reading, we’ll collect all the links/info in to a single document for easy sharing.

-I’m interested in hosting a mini-showcase for my magazine, press, school group, etc.—what do I do? Great! Here are the guidelines for mini-showcases for literary magazines, presses/publishers, school groups, etc.:

  1. Representative from the magazine/press/etc. needs to register with MWC. When register, please indicate the number of readers you expect to host (each magazine/press/etc. is welcome to invite up to 4 readers). Please indicate how you’d like to participate–live stream, posting videos, etc.
  2. Representative also needs to indicate who will host the mini-showcase at the event. Each host will have a couple minutes to briefly introduce the magazine/press/etc., and will then briefly introduce each of their readers.
  3. Magazines/presses/etc. are welcome to send along info re: ordering copies of books/magazines/etc., as well as to share information to share with the community during their showcase. All authors are responsible for their own transactions.

For more information, please contact MWC at 309-732-7330 or


SPECTRA manifests thanks to the generous support
of the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

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